DG Digest: FRA Ups Railroad Safety with Dispatcher & Signal Maintainer Certifications; OSHA Updates Vinyl Chloride Standard

The FRA issued important new employment certification and training standards for train dispatchers and signal maintenance employees. A BNSF intermodal train heads south through Puyallup, Washington on a summer evening in July of 2023. Image © 7/2023 by Nikki Burgess; all rights reserved.

The Memorial Day weekend just concluded is the unofficial kick-off to the nation’s summer season. As such, it’s now a great time to review your home and workplace heat safety plans. Employees that work out of doors or in non-climate-controlled buildings can face real risks during hot weather. Be sure that you review your site for potential risks and have measures in place to reduce them. Everyone wants to enjoy their summer, so let’s help keep everyone safe! Last week was a less active one in the regulatory world compared to the busy period of the previous week, however the FRA issued two important new rulemakings. Let’s take a look at the news:


In two important new rulemakings, the agency has mandated specific certification requirements for the training and qualification standards for train dispatcher and signal maintenance employees. Both types of employees are considered essential to the safe operation of trains, and so along with train crews themselves, they too will now have specific certification standards that are common across the rail industry. See the new certification standards here:

Train Dispatchers: 2024-09957.pdf (govinfo.gov)

Signal Maintainers: 2024-09958.pdf (govinfo.gov)


The agency published an ICR related to its vinyl chloride chemical safety standard. See this ICR here.

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